As per Wikipedia, democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. Can the public protests seen recently across the country be termed as beginning of maturity of Indian democracy?
2012 has seen Indian public coming out of their cozy drawing rooms to the streets to join protests, prepared to take on the might of the powerful state on issues affecting their daily life ranging from wide-spread corruptions in the state machinery, huge scams denting the Indian economy to a gang rape of a young woman in Delhi.
Politicians have failed to measure up to the expectations of people. They have been too busy playing self-serving power games and vote-bank based politics, in Parliament, in public and in every available space, without caring for the Indian population, who elected them for governing the country. The public governance has taken a back seat in the power-hungry games of the politicians.
These politicians are so much disconnected from the public and the realities that they not only failed to lead the people but reacted to these developments too late and with typical cynicism. Many of their comments, reactions were too mechanical and full of arrogance. Politics continued dirty, confused and listless.
Started in 2011 with Anna Hazare’s anti corruption movement, the public protests across the country have now manifested in a massive protest against the apathy of the government towards the sexual harassment of women. Politicians were scared of the public in 2011 also and they have failed to connect to the mass in 2012 too.
Undoubtedly, the technology has helped people to gather, consolidate and protest on social issues affecting their life. The explosion of information technology has reduced distances and made India a smaller place. The social media like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs has played a major role in uniting the people and gathering them for protests all over the country. The politicians and the government have failed to match up to the explosion of social media and its importance. They reacted with usual arrogance using police and para-military to stop the protests instead of listening to the people’s genuine demands. Groucho Marx once said:
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”
It’s agreed that most of these street protests are spontaneous, primarily guided by emotions and lacking the matured guidance. Many street protests without a goal/direction generally fizzle out at the end without serving the purpose. The public display of anger, cynicism and unhappiness towards the state apathy is likely to continue in 2013 too. The awakening of youth cannot be ignored.
Hope, just public voices will be able to compel the society to break the shackles of medieval and feudal thoughts and transform it into a vibrant and truly participative democracy. We want to see India rising to become a global power in near future with the fruit of the developments reaching everybody and every corner of the country.